Friday, October 10, 2008
Disagreeing with the experts, #2
When to send out review copies
As I prepare to launch several books, I've been reading lots of books about book publishing and promotion.
John Kremer's 1001 Ways to Market Your Books has a confusing cover. Its subtitle states it "includes over 100 proven marketing tips for authors."
So, even if we generously assume that "over 100" equals 200, that would mean that 801 of the ways to market books inside Kremer's mammoth 700-page book are not proven.
Kremer would probably respond that the 1001 ways are "for authors and publishers," and not all of them apply to authors. I'll argue that a huge percentage of the tips apply to both, and with the increasing trend to self-publishing, many authors are publishers.
The silly line appears on both the sixth and fifth edition, and maybe even more. I hope it will be dropped for the seventh.
But the main purpose of today's blog entry is not to zing a cover, but to disagree with potentially dangerous advice.
In the section on getting book reviews, John urges that writers "send books as early as possible -- preferably four months in advance of the book's publication date."
I can't see how it's possible to schedule when (let alone if) a book review will appear. I'd sure hate to have a fantastic review appear in February, if no books will be available for purchase until April.
We live in a world of instant gratification.
People who buy online will click the "order" button and then run to their window to look for the FedEx truck. There is no way I would trust someone who reads a review and likes what they read, to remember to buy it two months later.
I'd much rather delay sending out review copies until I know people can really buy my books.